Share My Lesson: Introducing SML's Higher Education Resources

Black male college professor talks to diverse group of students in classroom

The Share My Lesson community expanded to include higher education in 2021 and now has over 600 resources, including webinars, lesson plans, and blog posts (start browsing at

Here, we highlight two major collections—from the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations—plus individual resources ranging from a blog post on supporting LGBTQIA+ students to rethinking language on mental health.

Building Civic Muscles

SML is thrilled to have the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate as a partner. The institute, which strives to increase civic participation and strengthen our democracy, has added dozens of resources to SML (visit for its collection). One versatile resource for higher education is the “Dialogue Circles Activity” to help air sensitive topics, develop consensus within a group, and ensure students feel able to ask for support.

For developing students’ understanding of lawmaking, explore the “Today’s Vote in the Classroom” series; these lesson plans introduce challenging topics and have students take on roles as legislators. One excellent pairing is of “Today’s Vote in the Classroom—Climate Change,” in which students draft and debate provisions for a bill on climate change, followed by “My Political Autobiography,” in which they reflect on their lives and their recent learning about environmental justice to explore their political identities.

Studying the Globe

Another terrific SML partner is CFR Education, an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations. The majority of its 70-plus resources are suitable for higher education (check out the collection at Its lesson plans offer in-depth explorations of globalization, climate change, statehood and sovereignty, human trafficking, foreign policy, and more.

CFR Education has made these complex topics approachable. Some resources anchor the concepts in something familiar to students. For example, “The Globe-Trotting Journey of a Sneaker,” which is part of a module on global trade, is a video showing how products—from design to materials to assembly to marketing—come from all over the world. Other resources intentionally build on each other. “What Is Sovereignty?” offers an introduction to self-determination and can be followed by “The Various Challenges to Sovereignty,” which provides a much more nuanced look at internal and external threats. Both of these resources are embedded in a module on sovereignty that also explores the European Union and the millions of people who are stateless.

Browsing to Meet Your Students’ Needs

There’s a great variety in SML’s hundreds of higher education resources. Here are a handful chosen to show the range of supports you’ll find once you start browsing.

In her compelling blog post, “Queer on Campus,” Bethany Gizzi (the president of the Faculty Association of Monroe Community College) explains the importance of all students having opportunities to engage in accurate studies of gender and sexuality; she also offers tips on how to create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ students.

The “Hydrogen Energy and Climate Change Educator Guide” is a detailed lesson plan from MIT’s TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate) podcast. With group activities and links to MIT explainers on climate change, students are able to delve deeply into our environmental crisis.

The National Alliance on Mental Health posted “Your Language Matters: Talking About Mental Health” on SML. This well-designed one-pager helps students and educators more carefully choose their words; consider, for example, the difference between saying Juan “lives with a mental health condition” or “suffers from a brain disorder.”

Do you have resources you’d like to share? SML makes it easy! And if you have ideas or requests, reach out to


[SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images]

American Educator, Spring 2023